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Old 09-11-04, 01:08 PM   #1
acrafton
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Rack for Minivan?

Hey. I now have three bikes (one MTB, one road, and my wifes hybrid), as well as 1 child's bike. We are planning to take the bikes on several trips over the next few months with distances ranging from 300 to 1000 miles and I need some help on racks.

The vehicle - Chrysler Town & Country minivan with no hitch but roof racks and cross bar.

Options I am considering:

1. Buying a hitch and a Yakima 4 bike ROC rack - total cost around $550.
2. Buying a roof rack to hold the bikes (assuming it will work with the existing racks/x bars) - cost $300
3. Buying a Saris bones 3 bike trunk rack - cost $100.

In any case, the kids bikes will most likely go in the back of the van.

Which is better?
Is using a roof system reasonable with a van?

Any other considerations?

Thanks
Adam
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Old 09-11-04, 01:13 PM   #2
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It's a van, put them all inside and strap the kid to the roof.
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Old 09-11-04, 04:44 PM   #3
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We have a Chrysler mini-van with a Thule roof rack, it uses the existing rails on the roof, but not the crossbars. The system is great as you can unlock it, push a button and the whole thing comes off.
We use it to hall our one tandem and 2 other bikes, with the other tandem in the back of the van.
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Old 09-11-04, 06:58 PM   #4
acrafton
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is it hard to get them on/off the top of the minivan?
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Old 09-11-04, 08:16 PM   #5
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if you have the money then hitches are the best way to go, zero possible damage to car. if you have no money then the saris bones will do fine as long as you don't use it all the time as it will start to show the marks on your car where it sits.
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Old 09-11-04, 10:14 PM   #6
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Hitch racks are great if you can't actually put the bikes inside (my voyager is a cargo van, not a family van) With a roof rach you may need a step ladder which is not convenient.

You can't beat a van for capacity though - at one time I have had 12 tandems mounted to mine. 8 on top and 4 inside. Boy did I ever get a lot of points and stares on the way to the tandem demo. One guy asks me at the light - how many of those do you ride? I said, one at a time...
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Old 09-12-04, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acrafton
is it hard to get them on/off the top of the minivan?
The tandem is a bit of a struggle, the single bikes are much lighter so I don't have a prblem with them.
I have a small step stool that I carry along to use as an added platform to stand on.
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Old 09-12-04, 11:31 AM   #8
CycleFreakLS
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I have a 2000 Odyssey. I would go (as I have) a hitch mounted four bike carrier on a swing arm. I have the Bauer (search, I just posted on this) which locks each bike the carrier, locks to the hitch, and swings to the right far enough to open the back fully. I also carry a Yakima Rocket Box on top (fishing poles, skis, etc.). The bikes in the back stay cleaner and saves a lot in cross wind resistance.

Best.
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